Grand Traverse County Administration Proposing To Rollback Millage

There’s a proposal on the table asking Grand Traverse County Commissioners to make an unusual decision, lower an already approved millage.

In August, voters supported a millage for the Grand Traverse County Commission on Aging, but the commission has more than a million and a half dollar fund balance.

So this move would save taxpayers’ money and make services more efficient.

“Real hardship to try and maintain a home when you’re by yourself.”

Murial Mikowski relies on the Commission on Aging to help her with her lawn when she needs it.

One of many around the community who likely supported a millage to pay for those services.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing there’s so many people that couldn’t stay in their home if they didn’t have that little bit of help.”                

That millage passed in August, but this fall, the once independent Commission on Aging was audited by Grand Traverse County and there was more than a $1.5 million.

So the county is asking for some changes.                              

Administrator Tom Menzel says, “We could give back $750,000 and still have a reserve component of $850,000 plenty of funds and deliver all the services that we are currently serving and we’ve made some organizational changes to even improve the proficiency of those.”  

A detailed review suggests giving taxpayers back their money and changing the way the commission on aging works first off by dramatically altering their board, going from 9 members to four.

Menzel says, “Purely making it an advisory board with specific skill sets in finance, health labor.”

Changes that concern seniors like Muriel who has been on the waiting list for many services for years.

And to think that I can’t believe that there’s that much access money if there was too much money why did they put it on the ballot last year. I can’t understand why they want to do away with the board they were doing a very good job of running the commission on aging.”

The county commissioners are set to make a decision December 7.